written by: Daniel Brecht•edited by: Sylvia Cochran•updated: 4/11/2011
Are you interested in the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)? Read on and learn about this crucial exam. The article explains the preparation process as well as where you can take free online courses. In addition, there are also some useful links to get you started.
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Why Take Online Classes?
Taking online courses allows working individuals the chance to continue their education while keeping their daily habits. Simply said, online schooling is intended to provide flexibility for the career minded professional.
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CCNA: Exam Explained
What's meant by CCNA? It refers to the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). This is a Cisco certification that involves training and an exam. It's a very popular certification in the IT industry today.
The purpose of a CCNA certification: It validates skills, including installation, troubleshooting and monitoring of network devices.
Reasons for taking the CCNA exam: When a professional passes the CCNA exam, it gives her/him the chance to prove networking knowledge and expertise.
Who is likely to take the CCNA exam? IT and/or network professionals
CCNA exam info: CCNA 640-802 certification requires the completion of 2 courses:
Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices, Part 1 (ICND1)
Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices, Part 2 (ICND2)
Registering for the exam: Register at Pearson VUE to take the CCNA Exam. Please note: Registering for the exam is possible by phone, online, or through the test center.
Available CCNA concentration exams: CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CCNA Wireless
Exam Cost: the CCNA exam is $250 USD
Certificate info: Each candidate receives a Cisco Career Certification ID (with valid certification dates). CCNA certifications are valid for three years.
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Available Online Courses
Pass-Guaranteed.com: Offers free CCNA tutorials. Exam training resources are available but cost $69.00 or $175.00
SemSim.com: Offers a free trial (demo) and provides a low-price online CCNA preparation course. Regular retail price is $39.99 with a special offering of a 10% discount, which brings the cost to $29.99.
Train Signal Training: Offers free training videos on several IT certifications, including CCNA. A newsletter is available for subscription to advise on any new releases.
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Study Materials & Tips
Other than (or in addition to) taking online network training courses, there is always the option of self-study. One recommended site is the Cisco Learning Network. Other available study materials include:
Pearson's Live Lessons video training series
Safari Books Online
InformIT: Exam Cram Series
Please note that Cisco Press is the only authorized publisher for Cisco certification and network technology self-study resources.
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The CCNA certification is suitable for Network Security Specialists, Security Administrators, and Network Security Support Engineers. According to theU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer support specialists and systems administrators is expected to increase by 18 percent from 2006 to 2016. Wage earning estimates start at $70,000.00, but the potential Income may be $80,000.00 (or more). According to BLS, the average annual salary is over $60,000.00. According to the Cisco Squad Blog (ciscosquad.com), those possessing the CCNA certificate will likely see an increase in pay or potential earnings. In fact, some IT professionals have shown a 12% increase in income after earning the CCNA certification.